Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Aug. 6th: Today is Pregnant With Meanings That Bush Won't Get!

Well, at least when he was in Korea this time, he took off the lens caps so he could see something!

I love it when a date has several different events that are so laden with meaning for our beloved administration or Christofascists! And lord, is Aug. 6th ever one of those days!
The same day in the calendar that Bush travels on a Far-East pilgrimage for a better legacy, some very notable things happened:

1890: Murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair.

1945: Hiroshima (no explanation needed)

2001: Bush reads - and almost immediately dismisses - the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) headlined: Osama Bin Laden Set To Strike in the U.S.

His visit to Seoul, South Korea, couldn't have timed it better: several days ago, the declassification of documents give light to the fact that refugees fleeing from the onslaught of North Korean military were killed because the Army could not be certain if some of them were infiltrators. (see post below). The refugees were napalmed and strafed without any regard to gender or age. There are 215 suits against the United States (not individuals, but whole towns and villages) that are asking for reparation. The size of the massacre makes My Lai look positively minuscule! We're talking about the willful civilian massacre of thousands of people by the U.S. military as one of it's first acts of the Korean War.

So here is OUR President, who, as governor of Texas held the record for most
executions under any governor of any state in the nation. Here is the OUR President who, in representing us, stands for the bad as well as the good: the only country to actually use nuclear weapons against military and civilians of another country. Here is OUR President who wants to go to war with a country because he believes they MIGHT use nuclear weapons. Here is OUR President who disregards an important report because he cannot imagine anyone attempting to attack us on a large scale.

There were , of course, Korean protesters upon Bush's arrival. The press downplayed their numbers (up to 20,000) and, of course, Bush took absolutely no notice whatsoever:

Bush visit highlights divide in South Korea

SEOUL: President George W. Bush's trip to Seoul sharpened a political divide in South Korea on Tuesday: Middle-aged Christians and aging veterans in military uniforms prayed and waved U.S. flags welcoming the American leader, while young South Koreans battled riot police officers in downtown Seoul, shouting "Bush out!"

The police fired water cannons to stop the anti-Bush protesters from marching on President Lee Myung Bak's office. The demonstrators hurled bottles and garbage during sporadic, small-scale scuffles with the police. Officers detained dozens of protesters.

Beware of Aug. 6ths: they may come back to haunt you!

Jeane d'Arc Was Not the Only Victim of Religion

088 Paris 26 10 07
Originally uploaded by RoCam
The List Would Be Longer Than the Bible

Religion and capital punishment have a long history together. The problem with history in our country is that we look at ourselves as being so "progressive" that we never look at what history teaches us. The dead have a right to be heard - they give us faith in humanity and faith in ourselves. They also point out our mistakes. Any time religion and government combine in any way, it has been a major mistake. The souls who have gone through being burned at the stake or even died in the electric chair can tell you a lot about how religion played a big role in their execution.

Here is how the Death Penalty plays in the religions of the U.S.:

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations has called for a moratorium on executions since 1961.

Southern Baptist Convention

In 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution in support of the fair and equitable use of capital punishment.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)

Since its first official statement on the issue in 1959, reaffirmed again in 1977 and 1978, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has opposed the death penalty.

National Association of Evangelicals

Since its 1972 and 1973 resolutions on the issue, the National Association of Evangelicals has continued to support the use of capital punishment in cases involving premeditated murder as well as crimes such as hijacking and kidnapping where people are physically harmed.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

In 1976, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod asserted "that capital punishment is in accord with the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions."

Other religions and churches:

Judaism - Against

Mormons - No stance

United Methodist Church - Against

National Council of Churches - Against

Evangelical Lutheran Church - no stance

Catholicism - nominally For

Buddhism - Against

Hinduism - No stance

Islam - For, but in Islamic countries only

Just three of the above "fors" comprise the majority of church-goers who support the death penalty in the United States. Because of the power of the Religious Right in this country we are one of the few countries that still carries the death penalty!

PEW Research Forum on Religion:

McCain supports the death penalty for federal crimes. As a U.S. senator from Arizona, he has voted to prohibit the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals and to ban the death penalty for minors. He has also supported legislation to allow the death penalty for acts of terrorism and has said he would consider further expansion of capital punishment laws for other crimes.

Gay Bashing is Up and So Is Church Anti-Gay Rhetoric

- July 17, Dallas Tex. Jimmy Lee Dean is beaten in an anti-gay assault by two men not far from his home. His injuries were so severe that he was in intensive care and could not be interviewed or identified until July 22. The suspect is not currently being charged with a hate crime. (New York City) The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs said Tuesday that the number of violent crimes against LGBT people is up significantly in 2008. The coalition supports local LGBT organizations in their work to end violence.

Since the February murder of 15 year-old Lawrence King and the brutal beating of Duanna Johnson, there have been at least 13 brutal and violent LGBT hate crimes throughout the country. The organization added that the reported crimes only may be a small number of the total, since many LGBT people are reluctant to go to police, and many of the attacks that are reported are not listed by authorities as hate crimes.

One sign at a gay pride march:

Out and Proud
If you have a problem with it
Phone the Samaritans!